Parking in Forest Hill

Continuing the discussion from Dartmouth Road Improvements:

Over on the Dartmouth Road thread, we shared some useful general information and suggestions on parking in Forest Hill - worthy of their own dedicated topic. I will move them here, preserving links to and from the Dartmouth Rd topic.

As is the Sainsbury’s car park.

Do you mean the Sainsbury’s car park, @Michael?

yes. two hours free and rarely completely full.


Wouldn’t a similar arrangement at the PV var park help the businesses along Perry Vale though? Thought this was something the Forest Hill Society was keen on.

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If it stops idiots parking outside Finches then all for it.

As a permanent measure it makes sense, but I doubt it would make much difference to Dartmouth Road businesses as a temporary measure.

Personally I tend to park at the coop, if I’m passing by and want to purchase some fish from Waters. Coop is closer than the PV car park.

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Yes sorry, should have made clear I was referring to a permanent measure. I see your point.


As you know, I’ve been banging on about this for years but the period of disruption was the Trojan Horse which could facilitate the initial temporary concession that we could, hopefully turn permanent.

My theory as to why Sainsburys car park is rarely full is because Forest Hill as a shopping town is running at well below its potential - both in terms of the quality of our offering and, as a result, footfall.

So why is it not at its full potential?
Because a lot of serious businesses don’t give us a second glance.
And why’s that?

These business people don’t know about Sainsburys car park.
Many locals don’t even know about it!

Please trust me - I’ve dealt with many sound business people who’ve turned away from this town because of the perceived parking problem; and I can assure you that if they could have been persuaded that our ample parking resources at Sainsburys and Perry Vale are available and well promoted throughout the town we would have a more-varied and interesting offering than we do now.

1.5 minutes walk from the entrance at Perry Vale car park to W.H.Smiths.


The perry vale car park used to be chocker before it was chargeable but I think full of park and riders using FH station. Despite it being free for 30 mins it is now virtually empty all day - or at least it has been when I visit. I think people fear the ticket warden if they over stay (they are quite zealous) but it is pretty handy for most of the shops so I wonder what can be done to promote it. Longer free stays? Better notices?

It needs longer free stays to be useful for the town centre. Thirty minutes isn’t enough. They are very zealous at giving out tickets and if I wanted to, say, go the Post Office and do one other thing, I might easily go over 30 minutes. Definitely not long enough to stop for a coffee. So even though the Perry Vale car park is more convenient for me, I use the Sainsbury’s one instead.


I agree Foresthillnick.
I have offered to pay for posters, leaflets and stickers to go in all the shops so that everyone who walks anywhere or goes into any shop or the pools or library will be made aware that the town offers 2 HOURS FREE CAR PARKING within a short walk of the town centre.
Once people are told about this resource they will use it.
Then, when people are using it there will be more people spending time in the town.
Which will get the shops’ tills ringing.
And new businesses will come-a-knocking.


I see us with a very similar scenario to @RachaelDunlop, we might be tempted to pop in a shop/cafe on Dartmouth Road or Perry Vale when picking up a parcel but rarely do due to the time limit.

@Anotherjohn All totally true IMO but it is the council we would need to convince and I think this is just too strategic when they are so cash strapped. Perhaps a more accounting type argument would be conducive…

I wonder if anyone has a handle on how the parking wardens are allocated? It strikes me there must be a pretty much all day patrol in order to police a 30 minute limit zealously. If it was a 2 hour limit, you would only need perhaps 3 or 4 visits in the day. With a currently mostly empty car park, and provided you could more usefully station the warden elsewhere at other times (e.g. Dartmouth Road), this could be income/expenditure positive over a year.

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If there was any sense in the world parking fines would be earmarked to pay for better car park signage in the town centre. I agree that signage for car parks is a problem for businesses and shoppers in Forest Hill.

It is easy to forget that you can park under Sainsbury’s and come out through their main entrance onto London Road. Very useful for a trip to the teapot or the library!

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I am afraid I have given up on trying to help people park. I see many many people struggling to pay on Waldenshaw Road and many people parking in the CPZ. I have tried to tell people there is free parking in Sainsburys but get “it’s too far to go” even though they are going to Sainsbury’s. I gave up trying to tell people people parking in the CPZ that they would get fined the third time someone told me to f*ck off.

Some people cant be helped.

The Sainsbury’s car park is signposted, the signs are not very large and not very noticeable but they are there.

Yes Brett - this is why I made a very polite plea to Cllr. Maja Hilton on this very thread yesterday evening.

Unfortunately though, she’s chosen to ignore this minor matter in favour of a pie-in-the-sky 5-minute-wonder flippin’ ice poxy rink!

Reading through the last few threads there seems to be a general acknowledgement of the fact that too few people know about the 2hrs free parking at Sainsburys, which brings you out opposite The Capitol in seconds. My idea about punting this fact in every shopfront in FH will change this - and then when that car park’s full, Perry Vale will be needed.


I expect to be at Council on Tuesday. I have taken it on board. Apologies for not acknowledging the request.


I always park in the Sainsbury’s car park now. The wardens are usually patrolling so you have to be careful, last time I was there someone got a ticket for being in a disabled parking bay (the sign was faint but still visible) and a few other cars had tickets.

I wish they would put some of the money into repairing the ticket machine though, the middle button 5 has been broken for months making it very difficult to input your registration number. The parking warden told me to input just the letters of my reg instead until I pointed out this was impossible as the 5 was also the button for the letters I needed too…

I think it would make sense for the Perry Vale car park to be the same as the Sainsbury’s one - 2 hours free.
30 mins doesn’t give you time to do anything. With 2 hours I could pop to WHSmith, Waters, beer shop
The parking at the Co-op is only 30mins and it’s often hard to find a space.


Thank you Maja - honestly, I really appreciate you taking this on board. Please feel free to contact me about this and I will give you any amount of time and effort as is necessary to make this work. I’m also prepared to put some money into it as well.

By the way, on the ice skating thing, I’ve been selling skates and ice hockey equipment at Streatham Ice Rink for 37 years so if you’d like to pick up on your old pastime again I will give you a pair of skates as a thank you.


You’re not allowed to bribe councillors :grin:
(And I’m sure you didn’t mean it to be)